Travellers and Magicians | Chicago Reader

Travellers and Magicians

The first feature shot entirely in the Himalayan monarchy of Bhutan, this 2003 drama also holds the distinction of having been written and directed by an ordained lama, Khyentse Norbu. Naturally he focuses on the conflict between traditional and Western values, as a young Bhutanese leaves his small village with dreams of America, opportunity, and girls, girls, girls. On the road he meets a kindly beggar, an elderly papermaker, the man's comely daughter, and a monk who tells him an instructive tale about another young man tempted by worldly things. Despite the seemingly straightforward message, the film ends on a surprisingly and pleasantly ambiguous note. In Dzongkha with subtitles. 108 min.

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